Tag Archives: port

Atari A to Z Flashback: Centipede

It’s that time again! Yes, Centipede is back for a third time — this time in the form of the speedy and challenging Atari 5200 version.

Technically speaking, this version is probably closest to the arcade version, but it’s also one of the most difficult — particularly if you dare to play it with the original Atari 5200 controller, one of the most notoriously awkward pieces of technology ever created.

In other words, if you really reckon yourself at Centipede… then the Atari 5200 version is the one you should be challenging yourself with!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari ST A to Z: Hard Drivin’

We’ve got it pretty good these days. Even if we haven’t quite mastered true photorealism as yet, we’re getting pretty close, and a lot of game developers have really figured out what is and isn’t fun for the player.

Back in Hard Drivin’s day, though, all sorts of things were still new, exciting and unproven. 3D polygonal graphics, analogue controls, simulation-style handling… all of these things still had to be figured out properly. But Atari Games had a good old crack at it, and actually came out with a decent — if somewhat limited — driving experience.

And, moreover, we actually got a fairly authentic port to Atari ST, too — albeit without all the fancy specialist hardware of the arcade version. But, again, it was a more than valiant effort…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

The Demon Crystal: House Party

It’s always interesting to look back at anything that claims to be a “pioneer” of something — especially when the title in question isn’t as well-known as some of its peers.

That’s why I was intrigued to take a look at The Demon Crystal, a game that originally released for a variety of Japanese home computers back in the mid-’80s, and which more recently had an enhanced port to Windows PCs and Nintendo Switch.

Original creator YMCAT and new publisher Regista claim that The Demon Crystal was a pioneer of the action RPG genre, although from a casual glance you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a straightforward arcade game. What does this peculiar adventure have to offer?

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Atari A to Z Flashback: Asteroids (5200)

Hey look everybody, it’s Asteroids! Again. You’ll be pleased to hear that this is the last time Asteroids appears in the Atari Flashback Classics compilation, at least.

Today we’re looking at the Atari 5200 version of the game, which didn’t actually see a commercial release despite originally being intended as a launch title for the platform. It’s based closely on the version released for Atari 8-bit computers, and is a solid adaptation of the formula for 1-4 players simultaneously.

I didn’t like this all that much when I was kid (primarily because I was bobbins at it) but nowadays I find its chunky shooting action rather satisfying!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari A to Z Flashback: Asteroids (2600)

It’s that time again: the time when we strap ourselves into a small triangle and blast some space rocks into increasingly smaller space rocks until they disappear.

Yes, it’s Asteroids again, this time in its Atari 2600 incarnation. This was a well-regarded port at the time of original release, and noteworthy from a historical perspective for being one of the first games to make use of “bank-switching”, allowing for higher-capacity cartridges that made use of more data. Asteroids for 2600 is twice the size of earlier 2600 games at a mighty 8K!

It also offers “66 video games”. Can’t say better value than that, can you? Even if there’s actually only 33 video games, and they’re all very similar to one another…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Sega Ages: OutRun – Chasing the Horizon

Trivia of the day: the shiny red car in the original OutRun is not, as many people assume (and as both numerous sites on the Internet and some incarnations of the game’s original manual claim), a Ferrari Testarossa; it’s just a car designed to look uncannily like a Ferrari Testarossa — in other words, it’s a thoroughly unlicensed knockoff.

The fact that the car in OutRun is almost-but-not-quite a Ferrari is probably why this first game in the series has been so widely ported and still remains relevant today, while the officially Ferrari-branded OutRun 2 and its expanded quasi-sequel OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast remain tragically trapped in licensing limbo.

The original OutRun has been ported to enough platforms to make the original Final Fantasy and Ys games blush over the years, as well as putting in occasional guest appearances in games such as Shenmue 2 and Yakuza 0. The latest direct port at the time of writing is for Nintendo Switch as part of the Sega Ages collection and is the work of emulation maestros M2, so let’s once again put our foot to the floor and get driving.

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Sega Ages: Virtua Racing – Arcade Perfect Plus

The Nintendo Switch has seen a real renaissance for classic-era Sega.

The launch of the Sega Ages collection on the platform has brought a host of the company’s most beloved titles to a whole new audience. Even better, these releases have brought these titles up to date with modern conveniences without sacrificing what made the originals great in the first place; a true example of “enhanced retro” at work.

The latest title from Sega’s golden age to get this treatment is Virtua Racing, so let’s take a look at where this influential title came from… and how the Nintendo Switch incarnation honours its legacy.

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